Food truck freedom called for by Windsor councillor

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CBC News

Food trucks could become much more common in Windsor if a restaurant-owning city councillor has his way.

Rino Bortolin says there's no reason these businesses should be confined to private property and special events.

He says food trucks are a good way for new chefs to break into the dining scene.

Bortolin says restaurants cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to open while food trucks cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

"It would allow people to start and be a catalyst for some young entrepreneurs in the hospitality business," Bortolin said.

Bortolin has asked city staff to investigate how existing bylaws can be changed to allow more freedom for food trucks.

"You see fry trucks in different locations, but they're very, very limited," he said. "I want to open it up so that they can operate more freely within the city."

Bortolin says Windsor is behind other cities when it comes to food trucks, and that should make it easy for city staff to look at what's working elsewhere and adjust existing bylaws.

In Kitchener in January, councillors at a committee meeting approved an amendment to Kitchener's food truck by-law that would allow trucks to be located 10 metres away from a restaurant property line, instead of the current 20 metres.

Even Toronto Mayor John Tory is keen on liberating food trucks. He was impressed with how they're handled in Austin, Texas, where he just attended South by Southwest festival.

He said “they have food trucks of all kinds,” and that they are free from “nanny-statism."